Sunday: September 3, 2028
8:27 AM; CLINSTONE, SPENCER FARM, MACHINE SHED
“Jesus Christ,” Misty Tanner whispered.
“Mm… Christ, indeed,” Gwen murmured. “You should call Jake, see if he wants to come by. You know he gets bored,” she said.
The analyst snorted, pulling her phone from her pocket. “Yeah, I know. Think you’ll be able to get an ID on him?”
“Not until we’re back at the station and I can print him. His face is… well…”
“Beyond recognizable,” Misty said, pressing her phone to her ear. “What about calling Bo down here so he can print him real quick?”
“No, we can’t. He isn’t planning on leaving Jensen’s side until he’s totally okay,” Gwen said.
Misty nodded. “Jake, hey. We’ve got a serious bludgeoning down here on Spencer’s farm. Thought you might like to drop on by if you’re bored?” A pause. “Of course. See you in a few.” She ended the call and tucked her phone back into her pocket. “What the hell do you think this guy did to deserve a beating like this one?” she asked.
Gwen squatted down next to the man tied to the little stool, cocking her head to the side. The man’s head was smashed in, one eye missing entirely, the other swollen shut. His jaw hung open, broken, several of his teeth shattered. His shoulders slouched at an angle too odd for even death. She could only assume they were dislocated, at the very least.
“I don’t know, but I sure hope whoever did this has taken out whatever rage they have,” Gwen said quietly.
1:17 PM; CLINSTONE SPECIALTY HOSPITAL, ROOM 101
Jacob rapped two knuckles on the open door before stepping into the room. “Afternoon.”
“Hi,” Bo greeted. “You look relatively awake for a Sunday.”
The lieutenant chuckled. “I’ve been at a crime scene. He tucked his hands into his pockets, clearing his throat. “McCullough is dead.”
“What?” Jensen asked.
“He was found beaten to death in a machine shed on Willow Spencer’s farm. He was bound to a chair, beaten, and left there. Gwen’s not sure what, exactly, killed him yet, but she’s working on it,” Jacob said.
“Suspects?” Bo questioned.
Jacob shook his head. “Spencer and her family had just come home around six this morning. She went out around eight to get the lawn mower out, and she found him there. She called the cops as soon as she saw him,” he said.
“Where were they when he was killed?”
“Alibi already checks out, Bo,” Jacob said softly. He cleared his throat, pulling his phone from his pocket. He unlocked his screen and pulled up a picture of the man’s beaten face. He held it out to Bo. “His prints are a positive match to the ones found at the Weaver scene, even the ones found behind the water heater in the Willis’s basement. This is our guy, Bo.”
“Our guy’s dead,” Bo said, gently pushing Jacob’s phone away from him. “And we have no idea who killed him.” He let out a breathless sound. “I didn’t want to end one case so we could open up another, Jake. I didn’t want that.”
“I know.” Jacob tucked his phone away. “That’s why this homicide is Gwen and Misty’s. Ramirez and Floyd are already detectives on it. You aren’t allowed anywhere near it unless I say otherwise.” He offered a shrug. “I just wanted you to know he was dead. He can’t hurt you or your family or anyone else in this town.” He cleared his throat. “And if you ask me? Fucker got exactly what he deserved.”
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